A comparative study between introverts and extraverts in their conforming behaviours among students at galaxy international school in ghana

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  • 1. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) 288XVol 3, No 12, 2012 A Comparative Study between Introverts and Extraverts in their Conforming Behaviours among Students at Galaxy International School in Ghana * Samuel Atindanbila PhD * Nana Afua Gyamfua Danquah Gyamfua- Department Of Psychology, University of Ghana( Legon) atindanbila@ug.edu.gh nadanquah@gmail.com * Dorothy Awuah-Peasah Presbyterian University College dapeasah@yahoo.ComAbstractThis study sought to compare conforming behaviors between extraverted and introverted students at the GalaxyInternational Junior High School. A sample of 20 (ten introverts and 10 extraverts) were selected through theadministration of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. Five confederates were also selected. Subjects took part in Personalitya conformity experiment whereby washroom symbols were presented to them. The subjects were asked toidentify whether the symbols were female or male after listening to the wrong responses of the confederates.Correlation and Independent t tests were used to analyze the results. The study showed that student introvertsconformed more than extraverted students. Introverted females also conformed more than introverted males anda positive relationship was established between the age of subjects and conforming behavior. It was itiverecommended that further studies on cultural influence on conformity among introverts and extraverts be doneand larger samples should be used.Key words:Introverts, extroverts, Galaxy International Junior High School, confederates, conforming behaviors. rts,IntroductionPersonality is the unique pattern of enduring psychological and behavioral characteristics by which each personcan be compared and contrasted with other people (Bernstein et al., 1997). These traits may be unique, common .,to some group or shared by the entire species but their pattern is different for each individual. Thus, althoughpeople are like others in some ways, they all have unique personalities (Feist & Feist, 1998). Many personality personalitiestheorists have made significant contributions to the study of personality like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, AlfredAdler, Hans Eysenck and others. Carl Jung was the first personality theorist to talk about introversion and extraversion. Jung recognized introversionvarious psychological traits that are formed out of two basic attitudes. The attitudes were introversion andextraversion (Feist & Feist, 1998). According to Jung, an attitude is a predisposition to act or react in acharacteristic direction. To him, every individual has both an introverted and extraverted attitude. An individualwho is introverted will, therefore, have both introverted and extraverted attitudes with the introversion beingdominant. An extravert, on the other hand, has both introverted and extraverted attitudes with extraversionbeing dominant (Feist & Feist, 1998). Conformity is a type of social influence in which individuals change theirattitudes or behavior to adhere to existing social norms. The change is a response to real or imagined grouppressure. Conformity is one of the most influential forces that society has on an individual (Baron et al., 2009).Relevance of the studyThis study is very crucial considering the target population which are students. With the current rise in drugabuse, teenage pregnancy, delinquency and others among Ghanaian students, the vulnerability of the youthneeded to be examined. Baumeister (1999) established the fact that student peer pressure is more than just aphase. It can be a negative force in their lives, often resulting in their experimenting with tobacco, alcohol andillegal drugs. This present study seeks to create the awareness that students, just like children and adults, havedifferent personalities that impact on their behavior. These personalities can also contribute to the likelihood ofthem engaging in activities that are detrimental as a result of influence from others. Findings of the study will help educational institutions design certain programmes that will teach students programmesto embrace their different personalities. It will also show them how vulnerable their personalities make them interms of peer pressure and indicate ways that can help them combat this menace.Purpose of the StudyThis study intended to: 19
  • 2. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) 288XVol 3, No 12, 2012 1) Find out the relationship between personality traits and conformity among the students 2) Determine whether there were gender differences in personality and the tendency to conform among students 3) Discover whether there was a relationship between age and conforming behavior among students.HypothesesThe following hypotheses were formulated based on the objectives:1) Students who are introverts are more likely to conform than those who are extraverts.2) Introverted male students will confo more than introverted females. conform3) There will be a positive relationship between age and conforming behavior among students.Literature ReviewSeveral studies have been conducted in the conforming behavior phenomenon. For instance, a study comparedconformity among students of two different cultures at certain developmental stages. The study investigated the ormityrelative conforming behavior of American and Brazilian students ranging from ages 9 to 21 years. The resultsshowed that Brazilians conformed more than the Americans and curvilinear trends of conformity by sex to thanincreasing age (Sistrunk et al., 1971). Research on the effects of group size on conformity has shown that .,groups influence the extent to which people conform to the norms of the group (Stang, 1976). (Stang, In a study that sought to find sex differences in conforming behavior among undergraduate students, it wasdiscovered that females tended to conform more to group opinions than their male counterparts (Eagly et al.,1981). A study by Bond and Smith (1996) also discovered that people in collectivistic cultures conformed to a thhigher degree than people from individualistic cultures. This finding was established through a meta analytic meta-review of 17 countries with the classic Asch lineline-judgment task. This present study is aimed at finding out ifthese findings in foreign cultures are also applicable to the Ghanaian students.MethodologyParticipantsThis study was conducted at Galaxy International Junior High School in East Legon, Accra which has a to totalpopulation of 50 students. This school was chosen because students in Junior High school are aged between 11and 15, which are the early student years where there is peer pressure. The subjects were purposively sampledbased on their personality traits. The Eysenck Personality Inventory was used to select ten (10) introverts and .ten (10) extraverts. This was done by administering the questionnaire to the entire population several times untilthe desired number of introverts and extraverts was obtained. Five (5) students were also selected randomly andtrained as confederates. The design of this study was quasi experimental because of the manipulation of the independent variables quasi-experimentalwhich were the personality traits and also the fact that subjects were not randomly assigned into groups. Thesubjects were placed into two groups of introverts and extraverts based on their scores on the EysenckPersonality Inventory which has a reliability above 0.74 .ProcedureImages of male and female washroom symbols were shown to them and they were asked to identify whether the shownsymbol represented a male or female. The confederates, who were trained to give wrong answers, responded first.The experimental subject was then asked to respond. The responses made by experimental subjects wererecorded by an assistant.Washroom symbols that were drawn on cards were presented to the subjects during the conforming experiment.The subjects, who scored 12 and above out of the 24 items on the introversion scale, took part in the experi experiment.Similarly, subjects who scored 12 and above out of the 24 items on the extraversion scale, were also used for theconformity experiment. The responses from the experimental subjects who conformed to the responses of theconfederates scored three (3) marks while those who did not scored one (1) mark.ResultsThe first hypothesis was aimed at finding out whether there is a difference in conforming with regards tostudents who are extraverts and introverts. The independent t test was used to compare t mean scores of theconforming behaviors both introverted and extraverted students. The results are shown in Table 1 are thatintroverts conformed more than the extroverts The second hypothesis predicted that introverted females will conform more than introv introverted males. Theindependent t test was used to compare the mean scores of conforming behavior of extraverted males andintroverted females. The results were that that there was a significant difference in conforming behaviors ofintroverted males and females .The results are shown in Table 2. les 20
  • 3. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) 288XVol 3, No 12, 2012 The third hypothesis assumed that there would be a positive relationship between age and conformingbehavior among students. This was tested using the Pearson Correlation Coefficient to find out the relationshipbetween the age of the students and their conforming behavior. Results are shown in Table 3. It was observed enthat there was a significant positive correlation between the age of the students and their conforming behavior.Discussion, Recommendation and Conclus ConclusionThis study was conducted to find the relationship between personality traits (introversion and extraversion) andconforming behavior among junior high school students. The first objective was geared towards finding out therelationship between personality and conforming behavior. Based on this, it was found that introverted students ityconformed more than those who are extraverts. This was likely as a result of the strength, immediacy andnumber of people that were present as stated by the Social Impact Theory (Martin & Hewstone, 2002). The Theorystrength of a group refers to the status of the influencing group. In this study, the influencing group were theconfederates, were also the classmates of the experimental subjects. The influence the confederates had wa wasstrong due to the fact that they were peers of the experimental subjects and thus the tendency for the subjects toassume their answers were correct and conform to them. The immediacy or physical closeness of theconfederates with the experimental subjects also had a role in the conforming behavior of the latter. During the subjectsexperiment, they were all seated close together. The confederates, who were five in total, also outnumbered theexperimental subject and thus had an impact on the subjects’ behavior. The Students who were introverts also probably conformed more than their extraverted counterparts as aresult of their lack of assertiveness. This is because according to the Big Five Factor model, extraverts tend to bemuch more assertive than introverts (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2007). This makes it hard for introverts to voice out Premuzic,their opinions and views with confidence thus making them keep their true opinions to themselves andconforming to the group. The number of people present in the experimental situation can also affect conforming situationbehavior. Groups influence the extent to which people conform to the norms of the group (Stang, 1976). Asmentioned earlier, the number of confederates also influenced the responses of the student introverts. Thisconfirms that there are indeed, differences between personality traits of students and their likelihood to conform. at The second objective looked at the possibility of gender differences affecting the tendency to conform inintroverts. The findings suggested that introverted females are more likely to conform than introverted males. introvertedThis is a similar finding to a study that investigated sex differences in conforming behavior (Eagly et al, 1981).Males conformed less due to their gender role which emphasizes independence from others. Introverted females independenceprobably conformed more because of their personality which tends to make them less assertive as according tothe Big Factor Model (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2007). Premuzic, The final objective intended to find out whether there was a relationship between age and conforming relationshipbehavior among students. It was found that an increase in age of the students leads to an increase inconforming behavior. This finding is comparable to a study that compared conforming behavior betweenBrazilian and American students ranging from 9 12 years in which it was found that conforming behavior 9-increased among the older Brazilian students (Sistrunk et al., 1971). The Developmental theory of conformity .,suggests that children experience developments in cognitive skills, communication skills, concepts and acts of cognitivefriendship as they spend more time with their peers and less time with their parents. The extensive time studentsspend with their peers in addition to cognitive and communication developments may cont contribute to the increasein conformity as age increases. As students get older their cognitive growth may influence their sense ofattachment to their peers. As a result, older students may feel more attached to their peers and therefore be moreaccepting of their opinions or norms. The increase in conforming behavior as a result of the increase in age of students may also be due to thecollectivistic culture these students belong to. Collectivistic cultures place more emphasis on group consensusand harmony. People in such cultures tend to be very attached to their groups and desist from deviating from .group norms. This is similar to the finding that suggested that people who belong to collectivistic culturestend to conform more than people in individualistic cultures (Bond & Smith, 1996). Older students therefore individualisticconform more to their peers’ opinions because they are more embedded in the collectivistic culture than theiryounger counterparts.RecommendationsBased on this study, the following have been rerecommended:There is the need to use a larger sample size to enhance the external validity and therefore enhancegeneralizations. The influence of culture on the conforming behavior of introverts and extraverts should also beinvestigated since culture seems to have an impact on conformity as was found in a study by Bond and Smith s(1996). This study did not look at this concept due to insufficient resources. Students should be made aware ofthe reality of personality differences and the fact that there is nothing wrong with being different from others in nothing 21
  • 4. Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) 288XVol 3, No 12, 2012terms of opinions, beliefs, values just to mention a few. This can be executed through after school talks wherepsychologists are invited to create this awareness, or it can be incorporated in school curricul curriculum.ConclusionThis study was carried out at Galaxy International School Students to find out the conforming behavior betweenintroverted and extraverted students. It was found out that student who are introverts conformed more to theresponses of their peers than the extraverted ones. Introverted females also conformed more than extraverted eersmales and a positive relationship was established between the age of subjects and their conforming behaviors.Based on the findings, it was recommended that future studies in this area should use a larger sample size to studiesenhance external validity and generalizations of findings. Cultural impact on conforming behavior amongpersonality traits should also be examined. In summary, there are differences between the conformi behavior conformingof introverts and extraverts.ReferencesBaron, R.A., Branscombe, N.R., & Byrne, D. (2009). Social Psychology (12th ed). USA: Pearson EducationPublishing.Baumeister, R.F. (1999). The Self in Social Psychology USA: Psychology Press. Psychology.Bond, R., & Smith, P.B. (1996). Culture and conformity: A meta analysis of studies using Asch’s Line Judgment meta-analysisTask. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 111 111-137.Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2007). Personality and Individual Differences. USA: Wiley- Blackwell Publishing.Eagly, A.H., Wood, W., & Fishbaugh, L. (1981). Sex differences in conformity: Surveillance by the group as a y,determinant of male nonconformity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40(2), 384 (2), 384-394.Feist, J., & Feist, G.J. (1998). Theories of Personali (4th ed). USA: McGraw- Hill Publishing. PersonalityMartin, R., & Hewstone, M. (2002). Conformity and Independence in Groups: Majorities and Minorities. In M.A.Hogg, & R.S. Tindale (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology: Group processes (pp 209-228). USA:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.Sistrunk, F., Clement, D.E., & Guenther, Z.C. (1971). Developmental Comparisons of Conformity across Twocultures. Journal of Child Development 42(4), 1175-1185. Development,Stang, D.J. (1976). Group Size Effects on Conformity. Journal of Social Psychology, 98(2), 175 (2), 175-181.Table 1- Independent t- test, Means of scores of student introverts and student extravertsSubjects N Mean SD df t sig -Introverts 10 2.80 1.03 1 18 0.43 0.04Extraverts 10 2.00 1.05The results of the Independent t test presented in Table 1 indicates that there is a significant difference betweenthe conforming scores of student introverts and student extraverts as indicated in the independent t test (t = -0.43,df = 18, p = 0.04, one- tailed).Table 2- Independent t- test, Means of scores of introverted males and introverted femalesSubjects N Mean SD df t sigIntroverted males 5 2.50 1.00 8 0.66 0.02Introverted females 5 2.90 1.15Results of the Independent t test in Table 2 above shows that there was a significant difference in significantthe conforming behaviors of introverted males (M = 2.50, SD = 1.00) and introverted females(M=2.90, SD =1.15) as indicated in the independent t test (t = 0.66, df = 8, p = 0.02, one one-tailed).Table 3: Summary of correlational scores between age and conforming behavior among students scores Conforming BehaviorAge Pearson Correlation 0.39* Sig(one-tailed) tailed) 0.04 N 20It was observed that there was a significant positive correlation between the age of the students and theirconforming behavior (r = 0.39, N= 20, p = 0.04, one- tailed). It was a moderate correlation with 15% of thevariance explained. 22